Blessing Okagbare fails drug test, out of Tokyo Olympics

BY Remi Sulola

Blessing Okagbare, Nigeria’s sprint queen, has been suspended by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) for testing positive for human growth hormone.

AIU confirmed Okagbare’s suspension in a statement on Saturday morning.

“The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) has provisionally suspended Blessing Okagbare of Nigeria today with immediate effect after a sample collected from the sprinter tested positive for human Growth Hormone,” the AIU statement reads.


“Growth Hormone is a non-specified substance on the 2021 World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Prohibited List and a provisional suspension is mandatory following an adverse analytical finding for such substance under the World Athletics Anti-Doping Rules.

“The AIU collected the sample from Ms. Okagbare during an out-of-competition test on 19 July. The WADA-accredited laboratory that analysed the sample notified the AIU of the adverse analytical finding at mid-day Central European Time yesterday, Friday 30 July.

“The athlete was notified of the adverse analytical finding and of her provisional suspension this morning in Tokyo. She was scheduled to participate in the semi-finals of the women’s 100m this evening.


“The AIU will make no further comment on this matter at this time.”

The 32-year-old ran 11.05 seconds to win her first round heat in the 100m women’s race on Friday.

Okagbare, who was billed to be in action on Saturday for the 100m semi-final race, will no longer be able to participate due to her suspension.

She may still be exonerated pending the result of her B sample.

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